I needed a quick and dirty flux capacitor prop so I threw one together from laser cut parts. There are 4 LED's under each arm of the Y shape and they're connected to a Digispark board to make them flash. The whole thing runs on battery power. If I had more time and inclination I'd weather the paint effects slightly, round some of the corners off on the wires and recut the top panel but for now I'm pleased with the effect. (svg here)
365 laser cut items in 365 days. I provide the files so you can make your own copies and if you don't have access to a laser then I sell most items too.
Missing an svg file for an item? Have a suggestion for something? email@example.com
Friday, 29 April 2016
After doing all those funny materials for the sample wall last week I guess my extractor fan must be clogged, smoke started creeping out the front of the machine and I realised how full the cutter was. I decided to plough on because I needed to get the jobs finished so I opened the lid, bypassed the switch and opened the garage door. This was the vast plume of smoke that came off one of my useless machine kits. So yeah, these things make a lot of smoke and some of it ultimately creeps out when you open the lid. More pics to follow when I get to the route of the problem.
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Inspired by their foray into laser cutting Team Rembandts came back later in the afternoon to get some more cutting done. This time they decided to cut their logo into the lid of the PC case and insert orange plastic into the gaps. The panel was made from ABS plastic and we only had one shot at it, I overcooked it slightly but the final panel still came out really well. This may also be the last shot of my wooden bowl as I forgot to collect it back from them at the end of the day, no big deal I'm sure it would have been firewood in a few months time.
The guys from Cooler Master UK were exhibiting at the Maker Faire, they were making some amazing case modifications and had cut one of these spars out completely by hand. When they realised we had a laser cutter they bought their files down to us and we cut the rest of the spars for them. There are 2 slightly different designs, I overpowered the cuts and the whole thing took about 20 minutes but it sure beats doing it all by hand.
Monday, 25 April 2016
There have been a lot of hexes produced over the last week and you're probably wondering where they are all going. We wanted to demonstrate all the materials that could be cut on a laser like the Vanilla box so we gathered them all together and put them onto a sample wall. Each Hex tile is placed loosely into the framework and held in with a wide border. The bottom border section contains a label for the material and where applicable who sells the material. One final hex contains text describing what the wall is about what we're demonstrating on each tile.
Gluing this all together took a whole day, last week was a long week and I haven't even mentioned the 'big' project yet :)
I did cut all 8 of the polypropylene colours available from Kitronik but I was running up against the deadline and I glued some of them down before I took the photos. Polypropylene is a weird material, it is laser safe and it does cut but the edge is never very nice, it also doesn't really engrave and it tends to warp while cutting. It is a good material when you need something thin and flexible.
These samples were cut from coloured plastazote foam, Techsoft sells a multipack containing all eight different colours. I've cut a fair amount of this foam before with all the LRP weapons and it's my favourite foam material to laser. It actually feels like it cuts correctly rather than melting away from the beam.
Sunday, 24 April 2016
I just got back from the UK maker faire, having a laser cutter on display means we can cut things for people while we're there. This morning Kitronik asked us to make an adapter for their micro:bits. The Maker faire badges had holes for attachments already and this adapter allowed the micro:bit to be hung from the maker badge.
Thursday, 21 April 2016
I've called this batch generic wood because it's available from most places, left to right it's MDF, Poplar and Birch. Be wary of the Birch though, a good batch has the occasional knot in the middle layer a bad batch can be nearly impossible to cut. The additional tile is Illomba veneered poplar, it's a nice material and the poplar core means it cuts really well. I don't know who sells it at the moment but I have a stock pile left over from when Kitronik were accidentally sent a batch.
While the machine is turning these out I've started looking at the framework to hold them all together. Just one day left till the maker faire I have the feeling today is going to be a busy day.
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
I'm a big fan of curves and real curves are definitely better. I've been making some round sections for a new box and I just knew that living hinge curves weren't going to cut it this time. The living hinge is a straight line approximation of a curve, lots of little flat sections that only look like a curve from a distance. This time I wanted something smooth and continuous so I took some flexible 0.8mm ply, gave it a little bend to see if it could do the radius I wanted and then set about holding it in place.
The sheet is glued onto 7 spars of 12mm thick ply (2x6mm ply), many clamps were used to keep it all in the right place while drying. The result is is one continuous piece of ply with the perfect curve at the top. It was all a bit of a learning experience and mostly I learnt that the framework I was gluing too should have had cross ways spars to hold these spars apart in the right position but it's good enough for now. What the curve is actually for will probably follow at some point this weekend.
There is another way to make a similar curve. You could cut hundreds of those spars and glue them all together to make one long continuous curved section. This is actually much strong than the 0.8mm ply but it really doesn't look as good. This type of curved panel reminds me a lot of FDM 3D printing, it takes hours to make sure all the layers are stuck together properly and what you end up with is slightly ribbed piece of rubbish. This is now destined for my burning pile, it was good of me to go to all that effort, just to show you what not to do. :)